School Policy Forces Kids With Bad Grades to Wear Special Badges

An Arizona high school requires some students to wear ID badges announcing their failing grades, causing bullying and public ridicule for students with learning difficulties.

The high school in Cottonwood, Arizona, makes students wear badges around their necks. It is standard for students to wear badges across the US for security, but the Arizona high school uses the badges to distinguish younger students with red badges from the older students. The Arizona chapter of the ACLU says now older students struggling with their grades have to wear red badges as well. The students forced to wear them experience increased bullying and ridicule by other students and teachers, the ACLU said to the superintendent of the school.

Students report wearing the red badges leads them to receive less individual instruction from teachers because teachers assume the students are not motivated or capable of learning. Wearing the badges has caused students to feel anxious, alienated, ostracized and stigmatized by teachers and administrators.

The ACLU says the badges violate the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), a law to protect students’ educational records, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), and the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, which guarantees that people are treated equally.



Image: “NOV 2011 304” by Lord Jim  is licensed under CC BY 2.0